Significant changes for Automation press in Britain

The November issue of Industrial Automation is jam-packed with automation news and views. This article on the automation publishing scene in Britain is fascinating and we reproduce by kind permission of editor Nick Denbow.

It seems that 2010 is the year for editorial changes in the UK based automation press, not least of which was of course the retirement of Andrew Bond from the full time editor on the INSIDER. (see Automation publication changes ownership in September 2010)

The most significant news this month is that Michael Babb, Editor of Control Engineering Europe (CEE), intends to retire after the November2010 issue.

Michael Babb

Michael was the original Control Engineering USA “Man on the spot”, reporting from Europe for the US journal, and also providing a European edition of the journal. CEE ceased its bimonthly publication in December 2002, but then Michael continued as editor when the IML publishing group licensed the title from Reed Business Information and started publication again in April 2003. The INSIDER of August 2004 then reported on the incorporation of the IML magazine Plant and Control Engineering into a UK edition of CEE, to add specific UK interest.

Throughout all these changes Michael has been the lynch-pin and main driver for CEE, because of the depth of his industry knowledge and expertise.

Future of CE Europe
The current publisher of CEE, Dan Jago of IML, is naturally sad to see Michael retire, as he acknowledges the part he has played over a long period, from his base in South Wales. It is also fitting that in his final issue he will be reporting on the SPS/ IPC/Drives exhibition in Nuremberg, the European show that he rates highest of all for the automation industry. The CEE title has been re-licensed from the new owners of the Control Engineering magazine in the USA, CFE Media of Chicago, (see also A Good news story May 2010)who will also continue the relationship developed with the CE publications licensed in Poland and Russia to Michael Majchrzak as editor- in-chief. Jago insists CEE will continue in a printed paper format, quoted as approximately bi-monthly – at least having six issues a year.

Moves from Datateam
The new approach for CE Europe at IML has been to recruit Suzanne Gill as editor, who is the ex-editor of Automation, a rival title from the Datateam publisher (in the UK context). Jago advises that IML will then build on having totally office-based staff in Tonbridge, Kent, with a new weekly email newsletter across the EU and the Middle East, a re-vamped website, and other as yet unspecified services. Rival publisher Datateam, having lost Suzanne Gill after maternity leave, also faced the hopefully temporary loss of Michelle Lea in August, on maternity leave – she has now had twins: Lea is another experienced editor, having been in charge of the UK journal Process & Control.

Further changes by IML
However, last month IML also decided that they no longer needed an editor for the HazardEx journal, a slot filled for the past seven years by long experienced control and automation editor, Paul Gay.

Paul Gay

Having started the UK magazine Control Systems in the 1980s, Paul also spent time on Automation, then becoming editor of the UK journal Control and Instrumentation (C+I) for publishers Centaur. In 2002 C+I transformed into Integrated Manufacturing Solutions, which never really got very far. C+I continuation was promised at least in spirit, on the web, as a named section of the (also ill-fated) Centaur e4engineering portal website. This has now transformed into the website for The Engineer magazine, from Centaur, who also publish the UK journal Process Engineering, and acquired the Pro-Talk websites some 5 years ago. Interestingly the Processingtalk website, which your INSIDER editor left in April, now has its newsletter material absorbed into a section of the website for The Engineer, under the header of Process Engineering: needless to say no C+I section is visible. The HazardEx journal had established a European and Middle Eastern readership, based on the well-established HazardEx conferences, but is now being re-aligned and restyled: meanwhile Paul Gay continues with another editing role for a different publisher on the UK journal Fastening and Assembly Solutions.

This item appears in the November issue of Industrial Automation Insider.

We have also learned of some changes at What’s New In Industry (WNII) with the departure of David Keighley.

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